Creative writing exercises for fiction writers

Creative writing can be fun, inspiring, and exhilarating. It can also be frustrating, tedious, and exhausting. Everyone, no matter what their level, gets stuck sometimes and needs tools to help get the ideas flowing again. Fortunately, there are an uncountable number of writing exercises to help get you back on track. Here are some popular fiction prompts.

Just write

Try just forcing yourself to write anything. Get some words down on a page. They don’t have to have anything to do with your writing project. Write about your day or describe the clock on the wall. You can throw away this writing when you’re done. It doesn’t have to be good. The point of this exercise is to get you unstuck and get you writing again.

Start with a word

Choose a word at random, and write down everything that comes to mind when you hear that word. Write down everything you can think of that’s related to it. Write a sentence using the word. Now expand that into a paragraph. Can you use this theme in your story? If so, great. If not, see if the exercise has helped get your creative juices flowing again. If not, try again or try a different writing exercise.

Write from a different point of view

Try rewriting a scene from the point of view of the villain instead of the hero. If you don’t have your own writing to start with, or you’re still feeling stuck, do this exercise using a famous story. Rewrite the meeting of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf, but write it from the wolf’s perspective. Try to imagine what Darth Vader was feeling when he killed Obi Wan Kenobi.


That’s right, doodle. Doodling with your left hand will stimulate the right side (the creative part) of your brain. If you’re right-handed, you can also try writing with your left hand. If you’re left-handed, doodling will probably be more effective for you. Getting in a creative frame of mind before you start can help you learn how to write more freely and creatively.

Take a break

If all else fails, take a break. Go for a walk. Take a bath. Watch TV. If you have too much mental tension, you’re too tired, you’ve been working on the same thing too long, the best way to get unstuck may be to get away from it for a while a come back when you’re feeling refreshed.

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